Summary of Quran Chapter 63, Surah Al-Munafiqun, The Hypocrites 

NOTE: Below are the different opinions of two famous Islamic scholars about the Surah Al Munafiqun. 

This incident took place in the context of a specific event. The surah al munafiqun summarizes that there was a tribe among the Banu Al-Mustaliq, Arabs, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who received information that they were preparing a force to attack Madinah. The Last Prophet, along with his companions, went there, a battle ensued, and eventually, those people faced defeat and later embraced Islam. 

After the battle, for a few days, the Prophet camped near a well called Maris. During this time, a dispute arose between a Muhajir (immigrant) and an Ansari (local supporter) over water. The dispute escalated, and at one point, the Muhajir called for help from his fellow Muhajirin, and the Ansari called for assistance from his fellow Ansar. Concerns arose that a conflict might erupt between the Muhajirin and Ansar. 



surah al-munafiqun


When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) learned of this and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the news, he intervened and said that fighting based on the Muhajirin and Ansar identities is a pre-Islamic ignorance (Jahiliyyah) and that Islam has saved them. He expressed that such slogans are the cries of ignorance that should be abandoned by Muslims. He emphasized that if anyone, regardless of their background, is oppressed, they should be helped, and if anyone, regardless of their background, is an oppressor, efforts should be made to stop the oppression. 

After the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a dispute arose, and among those honorable individuals involved, forgiveness and reconciliation took place. Although the dispute was resolved,
there were some hypocrites in the Muslim army who joined to gain a share of the spoils of war. 

When their leader, Abdullah bin Ubayy, learned about this conflict, he told his companions that they had given refuge to the immigrants in their city, and now these immigrants were rising against the original residents of Madinah to the extent that they were even raising their hands against them. He said that this situation is unbearable, and when they return to Madinah, the honorable one will expel the disgraced. 

His clear indication was that they intended to expel the original residents of Madinah, referring to the immigrants. At this moment, a sincere Ansari companion, Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam, was also present. He found this statement very objectionable and informed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about what Abdullah bin Ubayy had said. 

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked Abdullah bin Ubayy, he outright denied making such a statement. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) remarked that perhaps there was a misunderstanding on the part of Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam. 

Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam was distressed by the thought that Abdullah bin Ubayy had falsely accused Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his presence. After this incident, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions left the area. Before reaching Madinah, this revelation came, confirming Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam’s account and exposing the reality of the hypocrites. 

(Mufti Taqi Usmani, an Islamic Scholar Opinion). 

Summary of Surah Al Munafiqun

The fourth pair in the group of Madani Surahs consists of Surah Al-Munafiqun and Surah At-Taghabun. Surah Al-Munafiqun does not begin with the mention of Tasbeeh (glorification of Allah), while Surah At-Taghabun begins with Tasbeeh (Praise). 

Regarding the content of these Surahs, Surah Al Munafiqun discusses hypocrisy and mentions hypocrites, whereas the primary theme of Surah At-Taghabun is faith (Iman). The Quran addresses lengthy topics in detail in some Surahs, and a concise summary is presented in shorter Surahs. The themesof hypocrisy and faith are interconnected similarly. 

The mention of hypocrisy is found in all Madani Surahs, sometimes subtly and sometimes explicitly. The themes of Surah An-Nisa and Surah At-Tawbah highlight this aspect prominently. Similarly, the theme of faith is widespread throughout the Quran. Specific points in this discussion are also mentioned in various Madani Surahs, such as the Ayat Al-Ayat (verse 164) of Surah Al-Baqarah and Ayat Al-Kursi (verse 255), which contain
comprehensive verses on this subject. 

In this context, the significance of these two Surahs lies in the fact that they provide a comprehensive summary of extensive discussions on these two crucial themes of the Quran. Hence, these two Surahs are among the most comprehensive Surahs in the Quran, each focusing on its
respective theme. 

Before a systematic study of this Surah, it is necessary to mention some important points about hypocrisy. In this context, the first thing is that there are two types of hypocrisy: conscious hypocrisy and unconscious hypocrisy. 

Conscious hypocrisy involves a person knowingly acknowledging faith to deceive the believers under a calculated plan. Such a person appears to be a hypocrite from the beginning, and faith does not become destined for them even for a moment. The mention of such hypocrites is found in verse 72 of Surah Al-Imran. 

These individuals, as part of a systematic conspiracy, falsely embraced Islam in the morning and declared their renunciation of Islam in the evening to cause harm to the strength of Islam. Faith did not enter
their hearts even for a moment. 

The nature of these individuals is described in Surah

Al-Ma’idah, verse 61, stating: Quran Chapter 5:61: When they come to you, they say: “We believe.” But in fact, they enter with (an intention of) disbelief and they go out with the same. And Allah knows all what they were hiding

Summary of Surah Al Munafiqun

In summary, conscious hypocrites, driven by a malicious plan, feigned belief for deceptive purposes, and their hearts never harbored faith even for an instant. 

On the contrary, consider the example of unconscious hypocrisy as follows: A person is presented with an invitation to Islam. His heart affirms it, and he embraces faith while proclaiming allegiance to the call. However, fundamentally, due to being a person with low determination, he hesitates and feels apprehensive about fulfilling the practical demands of faith and facing the trials of revolution. 

Especially when the stage of organized confrontation arrives, and the believers are asked to enter the battlefield with their lives at stake, individuals like these become weak, and their lives are at risk. Some of them, despite their low determination, remained sincere with the Muslims. 

Thus, sometimes they performed a good deed, and other times they committed disobedience. Sometimes, when asked to respond to a demand, they either found excuses or withdrew, but when accountability came, they admitted their mistake, accepted the consequences, and presented themselves for punishment. 

The quality of the actions of such individuals is described in Surah At-Tawbah, verse 102.

“And (there are) others who have acknowledged their sins, they have mixed a deed that was righteous with another that was evil. Perhaps Allah will turn to them for forgiveness. Surely, Allah
is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

It can be said about such people that they were in a state of weak faith. 

However, in such situations, most people experience a loss of self-esteem:

(‘And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest.’ (Al-Baqarah, The Cow: 206).

It means that when a person is advised to fear Allah, the pride in his sins drags him towards disobedience. He says, ‘Look, I have become a person of dignity; how long will I be humiliated in the eyes of people? That’s enough; it won’t work anymore!’ 

Therefore, a person who, in the deception of his soul, crosses the limit of God-fearingness and resorts to false excuses to hide his mistakes, has taken the first step into the quagmire of hypocrisy. It was only a matter of time before he took that first step; now, understands that he has become entangled in the mire of falsehood. 

Afterward, if he takes further steps, it will lead him deeper into this quagmire. Morning lies, afternoon lies, evening lies – lies upon lies. Then, when such a person sees that people mockingly smile at his false statements and excuses, he starts resorting to false oaths to prove his false excuses true. 

If one were to liken the disease of hypocrisy to a deadly disease, then one should understand from this stage of oaths that the ailment of the individual in question has entered the second phase. When oaths become a shield for lies, the true nature of the person becomes increasingly apparent to everyone, and he begins to realize that people have stopped trusting him. In reaction, in his heart, intense hatred and enmity against faith and the believers start growing. 

The real target of this enmity becomes the leadership of the believers, just as the hypocrites in Medina often engaged in derogatory comments about the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, saying that since his arrival, troubles had befallen the people of Medina. The arrival of this person has caused various problems for us as well. He has separated brothers, created ongoing family disputes, severed our alliance with Jewish tribes, and led us into conflicts with the entire Arab world. 

In any case, when this stage is reached, understand that the disease has entered the third and final stage. In the past, tuberculosis was considered incurable once it reached the third stage. 

Regarding this, an important point to note is that hypocrites only emerge within the ranks of revolutionary movements. Therefore, those individuals in our society who are unfamiliar with the ideological and revolutionary concepts of religion may be weak in faith but are not necessarily hypocrites. This is because these individuals have not been provided with the correct understanding of religion. They have been informed by clerics and their followers that religion is confined to prayers and fasting, and if the worship of Laylat al-Qadr during Ramadan is performed, then all sins for a lifetime are forgiven. 

And if one has performed the pilgrimage or Umrah, then they are completely purified from sins, even if they spent their entire life in sinful indulgence. Now, for a Muslim who has this perception of religion, what connection does this helpless individual have with hypocrisy? Hypocrisy arises in places where one has to traverse the mountains of difficulties and trials step by step. It occurs when religion demands sacrifices and challenges at every turn. 

Whereas for those who see religion as a source of comfort and an avenue to seek ease and prosperity, with sacrifices of life and wealth in the name of religion, what role does hypocrisy play there? Hypocrisy is born where every step requires crossing mountains of difficulties and trials. It is born where religion demands sacrifices and challenges at every turn, not where religion offers a life of comfort and ease along with the sacrifices of life and wealth. 

Therefore, if a person comprehends the philosophical and revolutionary aspects of the religious movement, wholeheartedly considers the establishment of religion as a duty, and willingly joins a genuine revolutionary group or movement, but subsequently retreats due to the leader’s reprimands, fear of sacrifice, or for some other reason, then they may fall victim to the disease of hypocrisy. 

However, if the reason for their withdrawal is something else, such as feeling disconnected from the movement’s objectives, fundamental disagreements with the movement’s methods, or clear deficiencies in the leadership roles, then that is a different matter. In such a situation, if the person leaves the movement or organization, they will not be guilty of hypocrisy. 

However, even in such a situation, they may choose to leave a specific group but cannot abandon the duty of establishing religion. After understanding the importance and obligatory nature of the duty to establish religion, it becomes an obligation to continue this effort, whether by joining another group and fulfilling it or by establishing a new organization for the same purpose. 

Summary of Surah Al Munafiqun

In this regard, we should take a lesson from the command of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding those who do not participate in the congregational prayers of Fajr and Isha: 

Hadith 1: Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): 

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “The most burdensome prayers for hypocrites are the ‘Isha’ and the Fajr prayers and if they knew what (rewards) these (prayers) contain, they would have come to them (in the mosques), even though they had to crawl on their knees.” [Agreed upon]. 

This statement means: “Correct. Narrated by Al-Bukhari (657) and Muslim (651).” 

Hadith 2: It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: 

Chapter: Severe Warning Against Missing Prayer In Congregation 

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘I was thinking of commanding that the call to prayer be given, then I would tell a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would go out with some other men carrying bundles of wood, and go to people who do not attend the prayer, and burn their houses down around them.'” 

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 791. In-book reference: Book 4, Hadith 57. 

If Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) expressed dissatisfaction with those who do not pray in congregation, then we should assess the consequences of living a life outside the framework of a congregational system. 

(Late Dr. Israr Ahmed, an Islamic Scholar Opinion).